Michelle and I are finally playing chess. Now that she’s got the basic rules down, she’s enjoying it. We found a really good online site, It’s Your Turn, and can send our moves back and forth while we’re at work.

However, I’m still looking for a good Windows chess program so that I/we can play against the computer. All of the current programs are so huge, filled with vast databases, graphics, and so on, that they are unwieldy. When I was in High School, and had a Macintosh II+, I used to play the original version of Sargon. I loved it. Totally basic two dimensional graphics without any of the, to me – although I recognize that other people do make use of this, feature bloat of all the current programs.

So – I’ll keep looking…

On a related tangent, we finally “redesigned” our terrace so that we can mount our dart board outside and play when it’s sunny. (When we’re not there, since it might rain, we just bring it inside again.) We’ve only had a chance for one quick “test” game – and, even so, had sore arms afterwards. This Summer should be fun.


  1. Jason,

    If you’re looking for lightweight, check out the open source stuff that’s out there. There’s Faile, which is a console based chess game. The engine is actually quite challenging to play against, although the software is more of a learning tool that lets you see all its internals.

    If that doesn’t work out, a search for “chess” turns up lots of results. good luck!

  2. Thanks, James!

    One of the problems with Faile is that it is a console game (while I don’t want/need all of the fancy 3D graphics, I would prefer even just the simple graphics of something like WJChess, Arena, or Bringer).

    The other problem is that’s its minimum strength level is 2,000. I can play at that level if I really concentrate but for a “casual” game, I’m more around 1,500 or so. (Although that’s something I wouldn’t mind improving – I just haven’t had much time to devote to practising.) Also, my wife is a beginner and would need something much less difficult than that.

    The above three games I mentioned would all work perfectly for me – if it weren’t for the fact that their minimum game play levels are, all, higher than I would like.

    The other one I found was Jose Chess (I did find all of these at Source Forge sometime ago by the way) which looks absolutely perfect – except for the fact that it fails to run for me, complaining about a Java plugin and then dying. Despite the fact that I’ve got the latest Java, etc. I even emailed the author about this but he was unable to determine the problem…

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